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By Emma PlatoffIn a blow to the Texas Attorney General’s Office, a federal appeals court on Friday reversed a lower court’s October 2018 ruling that struck down as unconstitutional the Indian Child Welfare Act, a decades-old federal law that aims to keep Native American families together.

ICWA gives placement preference in adoption cases to biological family members, other members of the child’s tribe and other Native American families.

Passed in 1978, the law was Congress’ attempt to keep native families together at a time when as many as one-third of tribal children were being forcibly removed from their biological families through state welfare proceedings.

The couple, Chad and Jennifer Brackeen, have since successfully adopted the child, but their challenge to the law persisted.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office did not immediately answer questions about whether it plans to appeal.

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